We are heading to the Super Bowl. Though not a huge football fiend, I do enjoy watching the Patriots play, and enjoy understanding the game more than I used to. And of course, I love all the sports dynasties from Boston and New England. We’re pretty spoiled. Let’s all hold our breath for Super Bowl Sunday and see if the Pats can win another ring for themselves and bragging rights for the rest of us.
I am definitely not enjoying this weather we’re having today. These temperatures are ridiculous. All I could think about while taking the dog out tonight was, Why does anyone want to climb Mount Everest? We’ve been very lucky this winter, but even with that, I’m never going to like winter. But I shall continue to sit under my sunlight lamp, take my vitamin D and repeat my mantra that spring will soon be here.
February is Black History Month, so mark your calendar for Saturday, Feb. 2, to join the League of Women Voters for a public event at the Oak Bluffs library from 10 am to 1 pm. Refreshments will be served. Joining the league as sponsors are the local chapters of the NAACP and the Association for the Study of African American Life. Guest speaker Walter Collier, an Oak Bluffs resident, will discuss his book, “Why Racism Persists: An Uncomfortable Truth.”
This week’s happy birthday shoutouts go out to Pam Alwardt on Jan. 21, Kelly Sullivan on Jan. 22, Eric Herman on Jan. 23, and Shannon Donovan on Jan. 24.
Most college kids have headed back to school as of this weekend. Those first weeks back after being at school are hard for parents and kids, aren’t they? Kids have become accustomed to living on their own and doing their own thing, and then they come home and everyone has to figure out a new dance. I’m noticing it quite a bit in Riley. Between a semester at college and his military future closing in fast, he is feeling very much his own person. But I still see my little boy. I think I’m doing a pretty good job of letting him go. Good luck to all the kids who are heading back to school, and to all the parents who have to let them go all over again.
Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary’s Josey Kirkland has been working with the Island’s youth from both Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School’s Protect Your Environment clubs. They have been working on climate action initiatives around the Island. The first event they are hosting is a series of climate cafés. Once a month, community members can gather at Mocha Mott’s in Vineyard Haven or Rosewater Market and Takeout in Edgartown and have a focused, student-led discussion around the subject of climate change. These students are incredible role models for their peers, and have been inspiring to work alongside. The goal of these climate action initiatives is to let the students take charge and work on projects that they feel passionate about. Victoria Scott, a student at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, shares, “It’s gratifying to see members of your community come together and talk about issues you are also concerned about.”
Social science research has shown that one of the most important actions individuals can take to help fight climate change is to talk about it with friends, family, and others in their immediate community. The most effective way to talk about climate change is by focusing on locally relevant impacts (or impacts relevant to the interest of the audience). In fact, while residents in Massachusetts are improving their understanding of climate change and that it is real and human-caused, they are also generally still unaware of how climate change is already affecting Massachusetts. Or that it will have even greater effects on the lives of their children.
Most Americans want to understand more about climate change or want to discuss what it means to them. They also believe that relatively few people want to talk about it. This creates a conversation gap, with people afraid to bring up the topic, and feeling they have no agency to act on solutions or expertise to speak to the climate change issues they care about.
The Climate Café model, which has been used all around the globe, provides a way for people to discuss climate change in a judgment-free, informal environment with other people in their community. By doing so, they gain valuable practice in conversing about the topic, and are more likely to talk about it in their own individual social circles and become empowered to make a difference in their communities. The cafe schedule is as follows: Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2 pm at Mocha Mott’s in Vineyard Haven, Feb. 10 at 2 pm at Rosewater in Edgartown, March 24 at Mocha Mott’s in Vineyard Haven, April 14 and May 5 at 2 pm at Rosewater.
The annual Edgartown School PTA Pizza and Bingo Night will be on Friday, Jan. 25, from 5:30 pm until 7 pm. Edgartown School families are invited to join in the fun. Please bring a salad or dessert to share.
The Edgartown School Garden is currently holding its Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds sale to raise money for the school garden. You can buy hard-to-find seeds on the website at http://bit.ly/ESSeeds. If you don’t have online access, contact Melinda DeFeo at 508-776-8220.
That’s it for this week. In honor of Martin Luther King Day, I leave you with a few of his inspiring words: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Have a great week.